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LPG is correct by saying Qinghai is one of the most underrated provinces in China.  Outside of prison camps and military testing sites, if you want to see fantastic Tibetan culture that is more open than Tibet, the Amdo region is well worth checking out.  Fantastic scenery can be found from Xining all the way to Kangding, Sichuan.  The roads are horrendous but are well worth the trouble after making various stops along the way.
Top Cities in Qinghai Province
Gyegu isn't a particularly popular destination..
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Xangda is located in China's Qinghai Province..
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Rongwo is located in China's Qinghai Province..
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Golmud is not much of a tourist destination. ..
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Very few travelers make their way to Xining when..
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Travel Tips from people who've been to Qinghai Province
Yushu - If you can get past the 20 hour bus ride along some of the worst roads in China, it's worth the trip.  Sleeper buses are not much better (extremely dirt linens and cold) than a regular bus seat due to the roads.  The town itself is not much to see, other than the obvious cement architecture.  What makes the town unique is that it is well over 95% Tibetan, and the Han and Hui minority Chinese are afraid of the Tibetans.  The local government supports the Tibetans in this small town which is unique to see.  The Gyana Mani Temple is impressive with its countless prayer-stones.  A small monk school contains many friendly trainees at the Princess Wencheng Temple outside of town.  There is a friendly Tibetan school in the fields past this gorge complex also and its one of two teachers will be happy to have a foreign visiter.  The food is not the best, but the yak yogurt is highly recommended.
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Tongren - 4 hours SE of Xining and one of the best places in all of Qinghai.  This quaint town is full of vibrant temples, friendly locals, wonderful artwork and beautiful scenery along the drive.  It is easy to lost yourself in the various temple complexes.  If you're friendly, don'y be surprised if you are invited for a random meal or into a monk's quarters.  The upper Wutan Si monastery is the place to be for Thangka art.  Tongren is known for this art form and I'd recommend asking for Duo Lata in the mentioned temple above - he's personal friend and his artwork is the best in the area.  Painting even a smaller Thangka can take months.  So don't be surprised by the asking price.  If you get to know a local or explain in Chinese that you're a volunteer, it can lower the price.
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Around 4 hours SE of Xining and a fabulous town to see Tibetan culture, temples, and one-of-a-kind artwork.  The areas has fantastic complexes to explore and is known for its Thangka paintings, especially at the Upper Wutan Si.  You won't find better artwork for this form of art.  Ask for my friend Duo Lata within this monastery - he's the best artist in the area by far and is extremely friendly.  Be prepared to drop some cash - knowing a local or being able to explain in Chinese you're a volunteer will lower the price.  The monks at friendly and don't be surprised if you get invited to a meal or their private quarters

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Recent Updates for Qinghai Province
Nadine L. has added a photo for Xining
5 years ago
Stephen K. updated the guide: Xining
5 years ago
Stephen K. updated the guide: Xining
5 years ago
Stephen K. updated the guide: Xining
5 years ago
Stephen K. updated the guide: Xining
5 years ago
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